WTOP: DC nonprofit connects underserved youth with internships at real estate firms

DC nonprofit connects underserved youth with real estate internships

By Melissa Howell, WTOP
Published: June 2, 2021

The D.C. nonprofit Urban Alliance is connecting underserved youth with real estate internships through a new pilot program focused on setting kids up for successful careers.

The Property Management Pathway Program gives kids a chance to secure paid internships with local leasing and maintenance companies in the industry.

“After hearing that, I just jumped right on it. Just being able to understand a lot of the back-end work is very, very helpful,” said Cameron Cary, a senior at School Without Walls.

Students learn how to interact with tenants, the ethical side of property management and the technical skills they’ll need when it comes to property upkeep. Each student goes through a training process before being placed.

Monique Rizer, the executive director for the nonprofit’s D.C. branch, is encouraging more companies to join.

She said there are more than 30 students in the program and 21 real estate companies. So far, two students have already been offered jobs, and a new group of interns will be trained in Chicago as the program begins to expand.

“There are young people who are going into this field and will be an asset. We would like to facilitate that and help the two communities come together,” Rizer said.

As Cameron prepares for college, he said he’s glad he took advantage of the opportunity to learn something new.

“You just need to reach out and start networking,” he said.